Why I'm switching from Elizabeth Warren to Pete Buttigieg

Bleeding Heartland welcomes guest posts about the Iowa caucuses, including candidate endorsements. Please read these guidelines before writing. -promoted by Laura Belin

Dear Reader,

It is early, perhaps far too early for someone to talk about changing their caucus vote from one candidate to another. It is arguably anyone’s race at this stage, but I feel it is critical (especially in Iowa) to give Pete Buttigieg my support early on.

I really do like Elizabeth Warren, in both policy and style. If she ends up being the nominee come November of 2020, I will gladly cast my ballot for her as I would any Democrat.

That being said, I think Pete is what America needs.

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What we should learn from Pete Buttigieg

Ira Lacher discusses the appeal of South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who has recently moved up in Iowa and national polling of the Democratic presidential field. -promoted by Laura Belin

By conventional wisdom, Pete Buttigieg shouldn’t be a top-tier presidential candidate. At 37, he’s only two years older than the constitutional minimum age to be president. As mayor of a small city in Indiana, he hasn’t the national political experience to reach for high office. As a gay man with a husband, he defies the mold that the president of the United States has to be some “Marlboro Man.” And as a Christian, he risks turning off secular voters who feel that Christians’ agenda runs counter to progressive Democratic ideals.

And yet, Pete Buttigieg has vaulted to rock-star status not despite all of the above but because of it. He’s done it because he’s not afraid to wear his genuineness on his sleeve.

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The 2007 votes that made 2019 a historic year for transgender Iowans

Only three months in, 2019 is already the most significant year for transgender equality in Iowa since 2007, when state lawmakers and Governor Chet Culver added sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected classes in the Iowa Civil Rights Act. That 1965 law hadn’t been significantly amended in decades.

The crucial Iowa House and Senate votes on the civil rights law happened during the first year since the 1960s that Democrats controlled both legislative chambers and the governor’s office. Support for LGBTQ equality is often taken for granted now in Democratic circles, but the issue was seen as more politically volatile twelve years ago. The bill amending the civil rights act came late in the 2007 legislative session and could not have passed without some Republican votes.

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10 years of marriage equality in Iowa

Ten years ago today, the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously held in Varnum v Brien that the state’s Defense of Marriage Act “violates the equal protection clause of the Iowa Constitution.”

Justice Mark Cady wrote the opinion, which cost three of his colleagues (Chief Justice Marsha Ternus, Justice David Baker, and Justice Michael Streit) their jobs in the 2010 judicial retention elections. Assigned the task of writing by random drawing, Cady “strongly believed the court should speak in one voice” on such a controversial matter, Tom Witosky and Marc Hansen wrote in their 2015 book Equal Before the Law: How Iowa Led Americans to Marriage Equality. In fact, Cady “was convinced there was no room for even a concurring opinion–an opinion in agreement with the court’s conclusion but not its reasoning.” (pp. 134-5)

Thousands of Iowans have enjoyed a better quality of life since our state became the third to give LGBTQ couples the right to marry. Lambda Legal, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of six Iowa couples, has posted a timeline of key events in the case. State Senator Zach Wahls wrote today about the Supreme Court decision’s impact on his family.

I wanted to mark this day by sharing highlights from Bleeding Heartland’s coverage of that historic event. My deepest condolences go out to the friends and relatives of former Supreme Court Justice Daryl Hecht. The Iowa Judicial Branch announced today that Hecht has died. He stepped down from the bench in December 2018 while battling melanoma. Of the seven justices who joined the Varnum opinion, only Cady, Brent Appel, and David Wiggins still serve on the high court.

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Why Kirsten Gillibrand is best candidate for trans people in 2020

Bleeding Heartland welcomes guest posts advocating for any Democratic candidate for president. Please read these guidelines before writing. -promoted by Laura Belin

Well, you may be wondering. Why did Kyla Paterson say U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York was the best? South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is the first openly gay presidential candidate, and Senator Bernie Sanders (independent of Vermont) has been fighting for civil rights for over thirty years, so why would she choose Gillibrand?

Those are one hundred percent valid questions. LGBTQIA+ issues are a top concern for me as chair of the Iowa Democratic Party’s Stonewall Caucus. In that context, I prioritize trans issues, being the first ever transgender caucus chair.

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Why I support Kirsten Gillibrand for president

Bleeding Heartland welcomes guest posts advocating for candidates in Democratic primaries. Please read these guidelines before writing. -promoted by Laura Belin

I’m Kyla Paterson, chair of the Iowa Democratic Party’s Stonewall Caucus. I very much enjoy leading such an amazing constituency that will build this caucus up for years to come. I’m also the first transgender chair of the caucus.

You may have read on Buzzfeed in January that I support U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York for the 2020 Iowa caucuses. I am not endorsing on the behalf of the Stonewall Caucus—I have given my personal endorsement.

Some people may be wondering why I did it the way I did, or feel that I was too early, but I think it’s time to stand up for fellow women like Gillibrand. I have been following her since her book Off The Sidelines was released and have been inspired ever since.

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